The 11 states where the entire prison system is under court order or consent decree are: Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Mississippi, New Mexico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Of these, eight states have been cited for contempt for disobeying court orders. Six states which had been under court order or consent decree but are no longer under active court supervision are: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Oregon and Wyoming.
The article gives a state by state breakdown of pending and past litigation challenging conditions and overcrowding. Not surprisingly, some of the biggest states, like New York and California, also have the most lawsuits against individual prisons challenging conditions of confinement even though the suits are not systemwide.
The NPP Journal is an excellent quarterly publication and is highly recommended. In addition to this article the Winter, 1993, issue has an article by Luke Janusz on the difficulties of prison publishing, changes brought about by outside AIDS activists in prisons, District of Columbia public defenders doing prison litigation, a listing of suits the NPP is involved in, a resource listing of NPP publications and a case law highlight of prison cases. Their caselaw section also includes analysis of case doctrine and where legal standards are evolving. Subscriptions are $2.00 a year to prisoners, $30.00 a year to free people. Write: National Prison Project, 1875 Connecticut Ave. N.W., # 410, Washington D.C. 20009.
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